A Penchant for Pesto

July 1, 2012

in Sound Bites, Vegetarian-Ish

I don’t like basil. Not on its own. I find it to be a strongly opinionated herb and I have no idea whatsoever what to do with it.

Which must be exactly the reason as to why it is the only herb I’ve managed to successfully grow.

Of course, the fact that I have a green heart and a black thumb may have something to do with that. Or maybe that I tend to let mother nature tend to the outdoor plants. And usually the indoor ones as well. Or that I have no earthly concept of soil types, sunlight preferences, watering levels and schedules, or what, exactly, the difference between a “weed” and a “plant” is.

But I digress.

It’s kind of my thing.

Basil. It’s a stubborn S.O.B. And even when put in a pretty red pot the size of a coffee mug without a drain hole, set directly above the sauna that is my kitchen sink on a windowsill that probably gets natural light at some point during the day, I’m assuming, it manages to thrive.

Or at least not die.

I’m sure I could look up all sorts of basil recipes, hang it up to dry, or turn it into potpourri. But that seems like a lot of effort for an herb I really only bought as an excuse to display my pretty red pot.

Especially when, instead, I could toss it in with some toasted pine nuts, cheese, and garlic and call it a day….

Decorative Pine Nuts Sold Separately

Basil Pesto Spread
Author: 
Dish: Spread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Feeds: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 3cups Basil Leaves, packed
  • 1cup Pine Nuts
  • 2cups Parmesan, Freshly Grated
  • ½cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves
  • ½tsp Sea Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350degrees.
  2. On an aluminum foil lined pan, toast 1cup pine nuts for 3minutes at 350F, then remove and cool.
  3. Peel and smash 3 garlic cloves.
  4. Coarsely chop 3cups basil leaves.
  5. Place basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, and smashed garlic cloves in food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add in 2cups parmesan cheese, ½tsp sea salt, and pepper to taste, and pulse continuously while adding in a ½ cup of olive oil in a slow, steady stream, until fully combined into a coarse spread.
Notes
Don't forget to toast the pine nuts. But more importantly, don't forget the pine nuts when they're toasting. Even just a little bit, and its going to taste more like Dante's 7th level of Hell, rather than the little bit of heaven it should.

 

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